Monday, April 28, 2014

A Shout Out to The Commons Book Club, Part III

This is the most awesome gift a writer can receive in the mailbox. I received a note from a dear friend recently who informed me that her book club had selected Tiger Hunting for their second read.

"Dear Tracy, Did your ears burn the afternoon of March 19th? Your book, Tiger Hunting, was the subject of our second book club meeting... all agreed they enjoyed your writing, but had some questions..." 

As I am composing my letter in reply, I thought I'd share the answers.

Question #3: How did you include local references so well?

I debated long and hard about placing Tiger Hunting in a real town. Dodge City is my town, after all—I was born and raised there—and I wasn’t sure how the natives would feel about me taking liberties with the culture and character of the city. I lived near Dodge City from birth until age 18, and lived there again from age of 27 to 33. I finally decided to embrace the “write what you know” theory. I placed the characters in Dodge City, and much of the early action in the story takes place in my own childhood stomping grounds south of Dodge City. In truth, there is a lot of fiction and reality mixed in the story, as far as time and place. The Dodge City of the 1980s rings much more true than modern Dodge City, and the Dodge City of Tiger Hunting is probably more stereotypically small-town Kansas than the actual place. The places in the story are a mix of real places, slightly altered places, and completely made up places that I chose to make a part of the city anyway.

“So,” he broke the silence. “Want to go try out the new coffee place with me on Wyatt Earp? Had you heard we’re getting civilized? Cup O-Jones. It’s a coffee house. Just like you had in Lawrence. Like Houston. Like on that television show, Friends.”
Wyatt Earp, absolutely a real place in Dodge City; Cup O-Jones, darned near the real thing. 

See Question #1, Question #2.

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